The Ballad of the Grader

By Shawn

The grader sits behind a desk;
Beside him rests a pile
Of papers that his students wrote.
Yep, this will take a while.
He girds himself for this great task,
And moves to grab the first.
But where to start? Start with the best,
Or those that will be worst?
“I’ll alternate,” he thence decides,
“To give myself a rest,
From papers that destroy my soul
And make me smite my breast.”
He sets his plan in motion then,
And picks one of the best,
To start things off on a bright note,
So he won’t get depressed.
His eyes begin to scan the page,
And he’s alarmed to find
The kid who did the best last time
Has this time lost his mind.
“Where’d you read that? Oh no. Oh God…”
He mutters at the page.
“No, Ghana’s not a nuclear power!”
He bellows in a rage.
“B minus, and that’s generous,”
He barks, and grabs the next.
It’s from someone who’s struggling;
C minus, he expects.
To his surprise, that’s not the case–
The student knows his stuff,
And makes outstanding arguments
‘Bout issues that are tough.
A smile alights the grader’s lips.
The student’s done great work;
The lesson’s never write them off,
‘Cause that makes you a jerk.
Yes, grading’s unpredictable–
A real joy, true to tell,
For often students are so bright;
Still, sometimes, what the hell?

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